Wicked Wednesday: A Double Book Celebration

Wickeds, this week we are celebrating the dual release of Charity’s Burden by Edith Maxwell and With A Kiss I Die by J.A. Hennrikus. Both of these books are more on the traditional side of the mystery world. Since we all write different series, how do you maneuver the different worlds you are creating?

Sherry: Congratulations on the new books! I can’t wait to read them. I’m the newbie to the “writing more than one series” club. I’ve finished a first draft of From Beer to Eternity the first Chloe Jackson Redneck Riviera mystery. At first I thought I’d work on one series in the morning and the other in the afternoon. But I quickly scraped that idea. I’ve tried to make Chloe and Sarah’s worlds and personalities different from each other. Chloe is younger and has moved to a place she’s never been before.

Jessie: This is a fun question! Like Sherry I only work on writing one series at a time. I can write one and revise another on the same day but I don’t write first draft of both on the same day or even in any sort of alternating way. For me the trouble has more to do with drawing from the same well in terms of type of work than it does from the series being somehow easily confused. I have no trouble keeping things straight between series or characters but rather from using the same sort of mental muscle on more than one project at the same time. One of them suffers if I do so I don’t.

Barb: So far I’ve only written one non-series book while writing the Maine Clambake Mysteries. (Jane Darrowfield, Professional Busybody.) I’ve worked on the books and novellas serially, with only the usual interruptions for copy-edits and page proofs, though that happens within a series anyway. And then there are the blog tours and other promotional activity for the book that’s coming out. Series or non-series, we’re always working on more than one book.

Edith: I work on only one first draft at a time, but, as Barb points out, there are always pesky interruptions, especially with three books in year in three different series. The copyedits that come in are rarely in the same series I’m writing the first draft of, but occasionally the timing works out so the proofs will be of the just prior book, which is actually good. It reminds of exactly what happened in that story, so I might think of continuity issues to fix in the new one. I love going away on solo retreat to immerse myself in a first draft. I once wrote almost half a book in a week. Seriously. Reality rears its pretty head, though, so that’s rare.

Julie: Edith, I love it when the timing works out! I am finding the more separate I keep the worlds the easier it is to navigate between the two. I do find my thoughts drifting though. I keep wanting to add a character from one series to another. That could be fun, but would also be confusing.

Liz: Congrats on these books, ladies! For me, with a new series and a whole new world that’s a bit different from what I’ve been doing, it’s easier to keep the worlds separate. With the Pawsitively Organic series and the Cat Cafe series, I would sometimes catch myself confusing things!

Readers, do you have trouble separating the worlds when you are reading different series? Fellow writers, how do you maneuver your worlds?

15 Thoughts

  1. It’s hard for me to go head-hopping between series. I usually “hear” the characters in my head, whether I write them in first or third person, and trying to be two people at once gets confusing! Of course, sometimes editors have other ideas, like when they return a draft that you submitted three months earlier and want changes made by next week. Sometimes I have to go back to my own notes and figure out who all the characters are. Someday I may write a story where all my characters are stranded together in an airport during a blizzard.

  2. I write one series in first person and one in third with a considerable age difference between the amateur detectives, so that helps. It’s even easier when I alternate between a contemporary setting and the 16th century. On the other hand, it’s fun to sneak in references to the other series, and maybe even have a character from one series appear in a cameo in the other. The detective in my 1888 quartet (written as Kathy) was a descendant of characters in my Face Down mysteries.

  3. I don’t have a problem reading multiple series at a time or even confusing books if I jump from series to series. In the books I like, the writing is usually so strong that the voice keeps me from confusing things.

    I don’t write multiple series. But I would imagine I’d have a hard time drafting two at once, not because they’d be confusing, but because it would be exhausting. But I could probably draft one and edit/polish another without much difficulty.

  4. Like Liz, I have no problem keeping different series apart in my mind if the books are well written (as are all of the Wickeds’). But then, I read cozies for the pure pleasure of the moment and tend to forget them quickly. I’m not the only one, BTW, my book club companions have the same problem! I have a much harder time keeping the characters straight when there are too many in one book. Not all of those folks are necessary to a good story.

    1. I agree about too large a cast of characters. It gets easier over the course of a series, when it’s like visiting with friends, don’t you think?

  5. I can’t read more than one book at a time for this very reason. I’d get things way too confused.

    I will
    Listen to audio books, usually a harder mystery than the cozies I normally read. Even then, I sometimes find myself getting plot points confused if I listen to the audio book over an extended period of time.

  6. I usually alternate my mysteries with a romance or an autobiography. I also try not to read the same types of mysteries in a row like culinary, historical, or crafty mysteries. Once I did get confused with two series dealing with witches in bakeries. I spent half a book looking for the wrong boyfriend to appear!

    Looking forward to both of your new books!

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